Skip to comments.'Brokeback Mountain': Macho men in love
Posted on 12/28/2005 8:48:09 AM PST by presidio9
In case you've been hunkered down on Mount Kenya, "Brokeback Mountain" recently opened. No hurricanes destroyed Orlando. No meteorites were reported in Los Angeles.
In fact, the film quietly attracted record-breaking crowds in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. And so it seems that Ang Lee's film about two cowboys in love is at minimum surviving. The reason for this is hard to figure out.
Could it be that all three opening cities have hefty gay populations? Another option is that right-wing groups, such as Focus on the Family, are all but keeping silent, in hopes that the film just goes away. Or it might have to do with Hollywood hunks Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal and their huge female fan bases.
Whatever the reason, Exhibitor Relations Co. reports that over the first weekend, Dec. 10-11, the film brought in the highest per-screen average for any film release in 2005.
And if that's not enough, "Brokeback Mountain" has already landed awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Associations and the New York Film Critics Circle.
Even some real-life cowboys applaud the flick. "I think it's something that's now just being more understood," seven-time world-champion cowboy Ty Murray, who is straight, recently told ABC's Good Morning America. "Hopefully, this movie helps people further understand it."
But as a gay man from a small town like the one in "Brokeback Mountain," I find that the beauty of this film lies in its navigating away from stereotypes to convey the power and randomness of love. A welcomed change, I'm sure, for many especially gay Americans.
Two years ago, I published a column, "Queer TV: Advancing Tolerance or Fostering Stereotypes?" In it, I questioned whether such shows as "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" and "Queer as Folk" were anything more than ratings ploys. And I wondered what viewers, once they found themselves uninterested, might come away with.
Would these programs help in showing the normality of being gay? Or would many viewers come away thinking that we were indeed "different"?
Hollywood has featured gay characters since the 1930s, usually as the effeminate best friend of the leading man. Their orientation was understood, though not discussed. This continued through the '50s, when gay characters were portrayed as emotionally troubled and often suicidal.
By the '70s, both cinema and television started to discuss real-life gay issues.
And during the '80s and '90s, gay characters and gay-themed programming moved to the forefront. Still, the way in which they were depicted in most cases cultivated dated stereotypes.
Now, through movies such as "Brokeback Mountain," Hollywood is shedding light on the fact that not all gay men are fashion gurus, hairdressers, interior designers, and superior in the arts, but that some might God forbid be cowboys, herding sheep in Wyoming. And, more important, capable of love-based relationships.
Not all of us gay folk are comfortable with the flamboyance of gay-pride parades. And many would rather sip a Killian's in an Irish pub than dance to techno in a noisy gay bar. "Gay" has nothing to do with lifestyle. And rather than coming out of the closet to make a declaration of individuality or identity, most of us "come out" so that we can share the gift of love openly with another individual.
So when the numbers are tallied and the awards dispersed, my hope is that "Brokeback Mountain" is seen not only as a monumental moment in cinema history but also as a daring and original attempt to prove that love is not bound by interpretation or stereotype.
So how many $$$ did it bring in?
I don't see any $$$ figures!
What a bunch of liars. It's a flop and they KNOW it.
Difficult to know where to begin in trashing a piece like this....
Broken (in) Back Mountain is about SHEEP HERDERS. Not real sure how "macho" sheep herding is viewed as being.
>>"Gay" has nothing to do with lifestyle. And rather than coming out of the closet to make a declaration of individuality or identity, most of us "come out" so that we can share the gift of love openly with another individual.<<
Oh this writer has GOT to be kidding!
Gay has EVERYTHING to do with lifestyle. Every gay person I know, including my own sister, does everything they can to be in your face.
Cut me a break.
Start at "The End"...........
As Howie Carr (Boston talk show host) says in paraphrasing Oscar Wilde: "the love that dare not speak its name just won't shut up".
...let alone record breaking.
Unless they are referring to record breaking as in "Going Down the Drain" in red ink.
Ang Lee is going to have a bright future in Hollywood. Any actor or director willing to to a positive gay movie will have more doors open to them. Look at Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington after they did the Philidelphia Story (about a HIV gay man suing a law firm for firing him).
TY! SAY IT AIN'T SO!!
I can't believe he endorses this "Backdoor Mountin'" flick! Ugh! Isn't Jewel keeping him satisfied, or did he kick her out making her homeless again?
As I understand it Ty is NOT a working cowboy, he's a rodeo cowboy; big difference.
>>>Or it might have to do with Hollywood hunks Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal and their huge female fan bases. >>>
Watching the adorable Heath Ledger in a trailer for Casanova last night made me think of Brokeback Mtn. I decided (for the umpteenth time) that I, as a female, would probably want to throw up if I saw him kissing a man.
So I don't care how cute they think these two are, not many women would be ok watching (or dear God listening to them) do it.
"I find that the beauty of this film lies in its navigating away from stereotypes"
What? The notion that all gays are noble, tragic victims isn't a stereotype? Since when?
Why's the topic keep coming back nearly every day?
Damn. Obviously it's a slow newsweek............
Yes, it just could be all three cities are chock full of faggots.
On a per capita basis, there probably aren't as many in those three places as in Atlanta.
I can't even count all the different threads there are about this movie. Why so much fascination?
Does the Cattlemen have to put out a press release to straighten these people out, or what?
It just goes to show you what a pack of idiots these people really are. It takes more than a hat and jeans to make one a cowboy.
Their lack of knowledge of history is truly amazing.
Obviously, the flick will do well in gay-friendly and predominantly liberal urban areas.
Well, consider the source, right? I mean, can it be that the whole McCarthy stuff was a REAL attempt to get the socialists out of Hollywood? And failed because they mistakenly called them communists?
It would be a believable piece if I could believe in the theory that gays can be monogamous. I don't.
There is nothing normal about being gay.
$6mm at a cost of $13mm. But now that all the pillowbiters in the major cities have seen it, it has opened in a mainstream theatre near you. The $6mm includes a holiday weekend, with one more to come. I guess we'll see how many teenaged girls can't wait to see their hearthrobs having anal sex with eachother.
Your tagline is appropriate for homosexuality also. Intersting, no?
Weeeellllll...... hmmmm. So many ways to begin here....
"No dude, independent films are those black and white hippie movies. They're always about gay cowboys eating pudding."
It's really about the fascination about the accuracy of South Park.
I've run sheep and there is nothing wimpy about it. Certainly not for the faint of heart.
"Roll me over and turn me around"
"I am just a cowboy..." Wonder if this Thin Lizzie is the sound track?
It occurred to me that the timing of Casanova's release so quickly after BM was planned to restore Heath Ledger's heterosexual appeal to female fans.
Don't expect any sequels like "Return to Brokeback Mountain".
I can't wait for the sequel RUMP RANGERS RIDE THE RANGE.
"Cowboys herding sheep"??? There's your first clue that something is screwed up here. Then it goes on....
I thought sheepherders raped sheep not each other
In the sequel, they'll have a relationship with the sheep. Of course it will be hailed as "groundbreaking."
I just can't figure out what it is about this film that is getting all this attention from us and the press. This is not the first movie ever to portray gays. What is our facination with this movie. Personally I am glad to be out of the Country because you guys are obsessing it to the max. They have a show Will and Grace that nobody is talking about. They had In and Out which nobody talked about. They have other stuff that is homo in nature but everyone is in love with this film and I don't understand it overhere in Italy serving in the Navy.
Podner.... down here where I live......
(And there are still a few real cowboys and big ranches)
People who "herd sheep" ain't called "cowboys"......
Now why were they running from you? Hmmmm?
I don't think so, but they have, unfortunately hi-jacked a Roger Miller tune. Go to amazon to see who's on the sound track. Interestiingly, no big country names.
Because it's fun to make fun of...
People are more comfortable with the stereotypical gay characters, they don't try to pretend they are "normal." That explains why all those other movies and shows are not that big of a deal.
Which is it ? Record-breaking crowds or barely surviving ? The author says both. I bet the box office numbers, which are suspiciously absent, say barely surviving.
Wha Wha What! WTF is he talking about?
You know, the holiday's, er Christmas, is over, so now they need a new thing to whine about.
I may have to rent this movie when it comes out, just to see what all the durn fuss is about. After all, I know that I'M secure in my sexuality, I don't think watching a movie about two closet-homosexual sheep herders is going to steer me into other pastures.
In other weirdness, I was doing a little surfing on NNDB.com, and came up with this interesting little factoid.
Do you think that within a certain portion of the population of women, it will help to make it acceptable, or even desirable for three way sex the other way? That is the point of all of this gay agenda. To make it easier to swing back and forth. I really never understood the appeal of two women, but now that it is so mainstream (ask anyone under 30 about that), the logical place to "expand our horizons" is M-F-M, along with F-M-F. By next summer or even sooner, we will see stories about this in the mainstream press. Maybe the person of the year will be a menage' trois because of their contribution to the dismantling of America.
What you're sharing isn't love. It's a perversion of that emotion, confused with sex. And "most of us" is an exaggeration. Most homos don't even pretend to love anyone. They just want permission to indulge the vilest vice known to man. The only "declaration" they make is against normalcy, convention, and restraint. If they focus their "identity" on what orifice their penis goes into, then they are truly pathetic.
... my hope is that "Brokeback Mountain" is seen not only as a monumental moment in cinema history but also as a daring and original attempt to prove that love is not bound by interpretation or stereotype.
First of all, Brokedick Mountain won't be seen as anything. The people who are going to see it already have. It's over. It won't survive the decade, let alone carve any niche in cinematic history. Because it is NOT "monumental," "daring", or "original." It is simply another Hollywood repudiation of conventionality, a wedge that can be driven into the bedrock of American values. There's nothing new there. And certainly nothing worth remembering.
"I find that the beauty of this film lies in its navigating away from stereotypes to convey the power and RANDOMNESS of love."
Randomness is a very revealing word to use.